UFC star Jon Jones has issued a warning to light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier for questioning his training regimen, insisting heavy weightlifting will not slow him down inside the Octagon.
Jones, the former titleholder, seems poised to return to action after serving a suspension earlier this year, and he has been giving fans insights into his training regimen with a string of videos on social media.
On his Twitter feed, the man known as Bones revealed it’s work that will only make him a stronger fighter, dismissing Cormier's claims:
Cormier had recently told The MMA Hour's Ariel Helwani (via Marc Raimondi on MMA Fighting) he thought Jones should keep away from the heavy weights, insisting bulking up could sap him of some of his famous speed.
"Looking at all the extra bulk, to me I was like, 'Well, maybe this will slow him down. Maybe he won't be the fastest guy. Maybe this guy is messing with what was given to him,'" said Cormier. "In reality, what has been given to him is perfect."
Jones would certainly be unwise to alter too much in his training, given the immaculate standards he has showcased during his time in the UFC.
The man from New York is an incredible athlete, able to amalgamate speed, power and agility superbly inside the Octagon. They’re attributes Cormier felt the full force of when the two met previously, as Jones dominated their light heavyweight title bout in January, scoring three takedowns on the then-challenger, who had never been toppled previously.
Jones had the title stripped from him earlier this year under the terms of his suspension, which he served as part of a hit-and-run incident, per ESPN.com.
There are plenty expecting Cormier and Jones to square off once again in 2016.
Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter feels as though these two longstanding rivals will collide sooner rather than later too:
Cormier won the title vacated by Jones in May, beating Anthony Johnson. Since then he’s defended the crown against Alexander Gustafsson in a split-decision victory and seems to have grown increasingly at ease with being the main man. However, having suffered his only career defeat to Jones, there will be a big challenge to come.
Indeed, many will feel Cormier isn’t truly the champion until he can get the better of Jones in a title bout. As Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Snowden noted here, despite his extra muscle, the former titleholder seems in tremendous shape and should have no issues making the weight:
Cormier will feel he has a better chance of beating Jones should they square off in a rematch. He has more experience at the light heavyweight limit, with two more fights in the weight class under his belt, and will be in a better position to preserve fitness over the course of five rounds, something that gave Jones an edge in their first fight.
Jones may be a little rusty in his first outing back, especially if he has bulked up a little. However, the former champion was so dominant in so many aspects of their tussle at UFC 182, it’s difficult to see how Cormier would bridge that gap.